A campaign to build the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center
Buck O’Neil earned his place as one of America’s great teachers. He used his remarkable life as an open book to inspire and to motivate. He taught us about the unsung heroes of the Negro Leagues. He taught us humility; how to handle disappointment; and the prevailing power of the human spirit.
In memory of Buck, who passed away Oct. 6, 2006 at age 94, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) has announced plans to build the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center. The $15 expansion project will be housed in the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, MO. It was in that historic building that Andrew “Rube” Foster established the Negro Leagues in 1920.
In August of 2006, the NLBM launched an ambitious grassroots fundraising campaign to jumpstart the project called “Thanks a Million, Buck.” The campaign was developed to address the disappointment expressed by thousands of people around the world when Buck was not elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Fans and friends wanted to know what they could do to recognize and honor Buck’s lifetime of contributions to the game of baseball.
The answer was simple. Buck challenged his friends and fans to channel that disappointment into an effort to assist the NLBM with its plans to preserve the historic Paseo YMCA and convert the building into an education and research center that would carry his name. The building, in essence, would become his “Hall” and would embrace the one thing that meant even more to him than baseball…education.
“The building of this Education and Research Center is far more important to me than me not getting into the Hall of Fame,” Buck said shortly after returning from Cooperstown where he spoke on behalf of the 17 Negro League inductees.
The new facility will incorporate the latest in interactive technology and state-of-the-art research equipment. The Center will allow visitors, students, researchers, and baseball fans to study every aspect of the Negro Leagues and social history. Currently scheduled to break ground in late 2007, the renovated Paseo YMCA will house more than 45,000 square feet of archives, educational areas, exhibits, conference facilities and administrative offices. In addition, the Center will be home to an innovative curriculum for students from around the country to use baseball to learn math and science.
With the NLBM having recently been designated by the United States Congress as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” the new center will bring added credibility and firmly establishes the NLBM as the world headquarters for Negro Leagues history.
The new Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center and will feature:
- Innovative educational programming, including a cutting-edge exploration of the Math and Science of Baseball
- A state-of-the-art Research Library
- Expanded Exhibit Space and Changing Gallery
- An 11,000 square-foot Baseball Academy providing year-round baseball training
- An Interactive Baseball Gaming Experience
- Meeting and Conferencing space
Help us build Buck’s hall. To make a tax-deductible contribution, logon now to NLBM.com and click on the “Thanks a Million, Buck” link, or call the NLBM at (816) 221-1920. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the NLBM and sent to:
Thanks a Million, Buck
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
1616 E. 18th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108